In lawsuit, Black city employees accuse Long Beach of racial discrimination

A man was accused of stealing batteries. Another was the only black manager among seven department heads. One woman stayed in the same unclassified position for 19 years, at any moment she could lose her job. One was told that she was one of the “problem kids” in her department. And another had their raise canceled because of an alleged error in the calculation of their salaries.

These are the complaints of a group of black current and former Long Beach employees who this week filed a class action lawsuit against the city for alleging a system of racial discrimination that was holding them back in their jobs.

Christopher Stuart, Eric Bailey, Deborah Hill, Sharon Hamilton and Donnell Russell Jauregui say the city has disproportionately kept black employees in underpaid and unclassified positions, denied their promotions and equal pay, and created an “anti-black culture.” City employees.

“Black City workers have been meeting behind the scenes for years, literally for years, and discussing this hostile work environment, wage discrimination [and] Promote discrimination between themselves and are desperate to find a way to forestall it, ”said Shauna Madison, one of the group’s lawyers. “It all finally came to light.”

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